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caucasian chalk circle

>> Saturday, July 21, 2007

if you don't go "awwwww..." in this play, i'm gonna have your head cut off. it's also the cure for "my-greyn!"

caucasian chalk circle (or litisang bilog ng caucasus) starts the 29th season of tanghalang ateneo. written by bertolt brecht and translated by ron capinding, it talks about how justice runs in a circle.

our justice system is interesting, in a way that it has become a theatrical stage. note the musical and the movie chicago, where a crime becomes a circus. it makes headlines, criminals become celebrities, and those convicted come up with the most creative and interesting excuses to let them off the hook. the tv series justice, tells how lawyers can battle their way in a court room to win a case. the more equipped your lawyer is, the more chances of winning a case. sometimes, it's also how much coins you have jingling in your pocket that draws a line between guilty and not guilty.

but somewhere inside that circus ring, there is still a glimmer of hope for real justice.

the plot is similar to the bible story of solomon the wise, where he had to judge who was the rightful mother of a child. michael is the child in the middle of the circle, with two mothers fighting for him: grusha, a servant and natella, the real mother and a governor's wife. two years ago, the governor was beheaded after a coup revolt against him. natella flees the city to save her life, and leaves michael in a dangerous situation where he could be killed. grusha takes him as her own and raises him up, knowing that she's bound to countless risks and sacrifices. when natella returns from her exile, she demands the right to michael's custody. grusha, on the other hand, vows never to part ways with michael, as she has called him his own and has played the mother role in his life.

the key lies not in the influential power you have over the ruling party, but in the eyes of an innocent little child. with michael in the presence of the judge, money flips over and hearts move forward. it's in those twinkling eyes of a young one that brings back the true justice. the moment that little kid stepped on to the stage, everyone, including the audience couldn't contain themselves. the whole theater goes, "awwww..." and clutches on to their seats when grusha and natella start tugging on micahel. the michael in our lives brings us back to our own grounds. we forget all worldly matters, all for the sake of the young. you'll risk everything: your engagement, your safety, your money, your strength, even your sanity, just to make sure that a child is safe.

why a circle? why not a triangle, a square, a rectangle? because real justice needs circles, where everything is an equal distance from the truth. michael stood at the middle, and in him lies the answer and the judgment of the trial. he was the bullet to hit bull's eye, shattering social class and ranking. he brought the heart back to justice.

the play offers hope for our justice system. we hope that in that circle lies the truth that influences our judgment for what is right. it's not about money, it's not about having the best lawyer, it's not about positional influence. it's about finding the focal point that equalizes everyone in the eyes of justice, and giving the floor to the rightful ones.

tanghalang ateneo notes that "our theater offers a bit of hope, the hope echoing from inside the caucasian chalk circle, namely that what there is - the state and all its institutions - shall belong to those who are good for it. for only then shall it, the state, bear fruit."

pfft. dami ko pang gustong sabihin, kaso tinatamad na ako. wala naring coherence yung post ko =)) thanks to reamur for the pictures, btw. gusto ko pa maglagay ng maraming pictures, kaso ang hirap mamili.


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